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Wind Tunnel Evaluation And Calibration Of Model Rocket Nosecone Pitot Static Probes

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Conference

2008 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Modern Software Measurement Techniques

Tagged Division

Instrumentation

Page Count

14

Page Numbers

13.1404.1 - 13.1404.14

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/3345

Download Count

375

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Paper Authors

biography

Dale Litwhiler Pennsylvania State University-Berks

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Dale H. Litwhiler is an Assistant Professor at Penn State Berks-Lehigh Valley College in Reading, PA. He received his B.S. from Penn State University (1984), his M.S. from Syracuse University (1989) and his Ph.D. from Lehigh University (2000) all in electrical engineering. Prior to beginning his academic career in 2002, he worked with IBM Federal Systems and Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems as a hardware and software design engineer.

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Abstract
NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Wind Tunnel Evaluation and Calibration of Model Rocket Nosecone Pitot-Static Probes Abstract

As part of an instrumentation course for third-year Electro-Mechanical Engineering Technology students, model rockets were used as an experimentation platform. The nosecones of several model rockets were modified to form Pitot-static probes to measure the velocity of the rockets in flight. An electronic pressure sensor was used to measure the differential pressure between the static and stagnation ports of the probe. Students evaluated the performance of the nosecone Pitot-static probes in the controlled conditions of a wind tunnel facility. The actual performance data was compared to the theoretical predictions of Bernoulli’s theorem. The students used the wind tunnel test data to create a calibration table for each Pitot-static probe that was then used in the analysis of the actual rocket flight data. In this paper, the construction of the modified model rocket nosecones is described in detail. Nosecone geometry and port placement considerations are also presented. The wind tunnel testing data is presented and compared to the theoretical predictions. Actual rocket flight data and its analysis is also presented and discussed. Details of the data acquisition systems used for the wind tunnel testing and in-flight data recording are also provided.

Introduction

As part of an instrumentation course for third-year Electro-Mechanical Engineering Technology students, model rockets were used as an experimentation platform. Sensors onboard the model rocket were used to measure the rocket’s acceleration, speed, and altitude. The measurements were acquired with an analog to digital converter and stored in onboard nonvolatile memory under the control of a microcontroller (PIC16F688). After rocket recovery, the stored data was then downloaded and analyzed.1

The acceleration of the rocket was measured with a MEMS accelerometer (MMA2201D) manufactured by Freescale Semiconductor.2 The rocket’s altitude was measured with a MEMS absolute pressure sensor (MPX5100) also manufactured by Freescale.3 The speed of the rocket was measured with a Pitot-static probe that was created by modifying the nosecone of the rocket itself. The shape of a model rocket nosecone is very near that of the ISO standard Pitot tube profiles.4 To determine airspeed from a Pitot-static probe, a differential pressure measurement must be made.5 This differential pressure measurement was made using a Freescale sensor (MPVZ5004G). 6

Litwhiler, D. (2008, June), Wind Tunnel Evaluation And Calibration Of Model Rocket Nosecone Pitot Static Probes Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. https://peer.asee.org/3345

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